He used his senses to locate her upstairs. Closing his eyes, he flashed himself to the outside of the door. There was no need to scare her any more with his powers. He should act as normal as possible around her.
With that thought in mind, he opened the door to her media room to find her curled up on the padded dark green couch, watching the television. He cocked his head as he saw two ancient Greek armies on the large-screen plasma TV.
Danger felt the air stirring behind her. Turning her head, she saw Alexion watching her TV. There was a strange look on his handsome face. It was an odd mixture of pain, remorse, and longing. If she didn’t know better, she might think he was homesick or something.
"You through prowling the house?" she asked him.
The familiar stony expression returned to his face. "Yes. They’re gone now." He moved a little closer to the couch while he continued to watch the screen curiously. "What is this?"
He frowned as if that didn’t make sense to him. Then sudden recognition lightened his face. "Oh," he said in a low tone. "Ilion."
Now there was a term she hadn’t heard since her days of studying classical Greek history as a girl in a convent school. It was then she realized something about her "guest." "You’re an ancient Greek, aren’t you?"
He looked briefly startled by her question, but he quickly recovered himself. And true to form, he avoided answering her question. "Why are you watching this?"
She pointed to the scene where Brad Pitt as Achilles was lying nak*d on a pallet with two equally nak*d women. "That right there," she said with an appreciative note in her voice. "That is truly the finest butt on the planet."
He scoffed. "That’s not the finest butt on the planet. Trust me."
She arched a brow at that. "So you’re an expert on male butts, huh?"
His jaw dropped as he gave her an offended glare. "Hardly."
Danger couldn’t resist teasing him more… "Yeah, you’re an ancient Greek all right."
"What’s that supposed to mean?"
She shrugged. "Well, we all know about you ancient Greeks. You were a friendly bunch with each other. Wrestling nak*d, groping each other’s heinies."
"We were not!" he snapped angrily.
Finally, she got some real emotion out of him. She was actually proud of herself.
And to be honest, she had to admit that she thoroughly enjoyed being on the teasing end for once. "Please, it’s all over the history books. You guys were always shacking up with each other. Even Achilles was shacked up with Patroclus. Of course not in this movie, but in Homer’s Iliad they were more than just friends."
His green eyes flared in outrage. "Those were later Greeks. Not us. They gave all the rest of the city-states a bad name."
"Then you admit you’re Greek."
His gaze narrowed as he realized she had tricked him into a confession.
"Oh, don’t pop an aneurysm," she said playfully. "I won’t tell anyone that you were once a Greek. Although why you would hide it, I can’t imagine, since Greek Dark-Hunters are ‘the thing’ in our world." She indicated the other end of her couch. "Have a seat, Mr. Cranky."
He moved to perch uncomfortably on the arm of her couch as he went back to watching the movie.
Danger was more fascinated by him and the sadness that seemed to engulf him while he was transfixed by Hollywood’s interpretation of his world. For the first time, there was something about him that almost seemed human. "Were you a soldier?"
He gave a subtle nod.
She glanced to the screen, then back at Alexion as she tried to imagine him in Greek armor. Most likely, he would have been a fine-looking warrior. He was lean and absolutely ripped… that kind of ripped that made a woman want to spend hours tasting his abs and pecs. And she realized that his shoulder-length blond hair would have been really sexy peeking out from the back of his helm.
It made her wonder how his butt would compare to Brad’s…
His scowl returned. "Why, if they’re supposed to be Greek, are all of them speaking with an English accent?"
She laughed. "Didn’t you know that British is, like, the universal ‘foreign’ language in Hollywood? They use it in any movie where they want to have a foreign feel to it, regardless of where it’s set."
"But they’re Greek. They should at least sound it."
"I know, just go with it."
He quieted down until they showed Brad confronting Brian Cox, who was playing King Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks. "That’s not Agamemnon," he said, making a face. "He wasn’t that old. Clytemnestra killed him off long before he had a chance to go gray."
Not wanting to encourage him to interrupt any more, she hid her laughter. "Would you just watch the movie?"
"But that didn’t happen. They’re making all this up."
She tossed a pillow at him. "Look, Chatty Cathy, I’m not interested in historical accuracy. If I was, I’d be reading the Iliad-"
"That wasn’t accurate either."
Danger paused as he gave her a clue to his real age. "Just how old are you?"
He scoffed. "Older than Ilion, obviously."
"So did you teach Ash how to be vague or did he teach it to you?"
He tossed the pillow back at her, then returned his attention to the TV where Helen was entering the scene. "They never get Helen right, do they? Man, she was truly beautiful. You should have seen her. She had a laugh that sounded like angels singing. And her body… Well, it was no wonder they had to get all her suitors to swear that they wouldn’t kill her husband out of sheer jealousy."
Danger didn’t comment. Scoping out other women wasn’t her forte. Not to mention, she was turning a little green over his appreciation for a woman that had been dead for thousands of years.
"We can’t all be Helen, now can we?"
She saw the "uh-oh" descend on his face as he realized what he’d just said. "You’re beautiful too."
"Yeah," she said sarcastically. "Save it, bud. Too little, too late."
For once he was quiet.
At least until they got to the scene with Paris and Helen nak*d in Helen’s bedroom. Alexion looked back at Danger. "So his butt has no appeal for you?"
Danger choked on her popcorn. Good Lord, the man had no couth. He’d ask her anything. She was never sure what might come flying out of his mouth next.
Coughing, she looked at him in disbelief.
"Not really," she answered once she could catch her breath again. "I’m not a big Orlando Bloom fan, unless he’s playing Legolas in Lord of the Rings. Now Legolas is one elf I wouldn’t toss out of my bed for eating crackers. I have to give the casting director credit. Whoever looked at him and thought, ‘gorgeous blond elf,’ definitely deserves an award of some kind."
He indicated Eric Bana, who was playing Hector. "What about him?"
"He’s okay, but not my taste. I’m not that attracted to brunets. I like blonds better, which is why I adore Orlando as Legolas and not Paris."
There was no missing the spark of interest in his eyes. "That’s good to know."
Danger had no idea why she liked teasing a man she really should hate, and yet she couldn’t seem to help herself. "Well, that information does you no good."
"Why not? I’m blond."
"Yes, but you’re not human." She looked back at the screen where Brad Pitt, as Achilles, was fighting with his cousin. "Then again neither is he," she said with a breathless sigh. "I swear, that man is a god."
Alexion snorted. "He’s not a god and that wasn’t Achilles’s cousin in real life. Not unless you make him a ‘kissing’ cousin if you catch my drift."
"Drift? That was more like a typhoon, Mr. Suave, and you’re not telling me anything I didn’t know except for the Brad being a god part. There you’re most definitely wrong. Just look at that body."
"It does nothing for me."
"Well, it should."
He made a sound of disagreement. "I’ve seen better."
She gave him an arch stare.
"Not like that," he snapped indignantly. "I mean… I never-"
"Give it up, Greek man. You’ve already drifted out to sea and are drowning fast."
Alexion should have been angry and appalled by this turn in their conversation, but he strangely wasn’t. It had been countless centuries since anyone had teased him like this. He had to give her credit, she was swift and intelligent.
He watched her as she ate the popcorn. "Why is that white?"
"How many questions are you going to ask me?"
"I was only curious. And given how many questions you’ve asked me, it’s only fair that I return the favor."
"Yeah, well, you don’t have to do it in the middle of my movie." She sighed as she raked her hand through the popcorn. "It’s always white unless you put stuff on it." She held the bowl out to him. "Want some?"
"There’s no need. I can’t taste it," he reminded her.
"It’s air popped without butter or salt. There’s not much to taste, but you can feel the texture of it, right?"
He supposed. Reaching out, he took a small handful and ate it. True to her prediction, it did feel odd in his mouth. It was crunchy and light. "Why do you eat this if it has no taste?"
"I like it. It’s good for you."
"You’re immortal. Nothing foodwise is bad for you."
She gave him a menacing glare. "Would you just watch the movie?"
Danger was a bit stunned when he shifted so that he could sit beside her on the couch. He also continued to eat her popcorn. It was really odd to have someone here with her. Not even Keller shared her late-night/early-morning movie. It was something she’d always done alone to unwind after her duties. There wasn’t a great deal of Daimon activity in Tupelo. Most Dark-Hunters got rather testy when they weren’t busy, but she kind of liked it.
So she spent many nights at home alone with her DVD collection or on the phone talking to other female Dark-Hunters. Her favorite ones to talk to were Ephani, who was a local Huntress and Zoe, who had just been moved to New York City. Both of them ancient Amazons, they had some interesting takes on how to treat men.
Most of which involved whips, chains, and handcuffs.
Alexion’s hand collided with hers as they both reached into the bowl. She was still surprised by the coldness of it. No wonder he kept his coat on.
"Why are you so icy?" she asked.
"Like a corpse."
"Oh," he said, as if he really weren’t aware of the fact that his body temperature would rival an ice cube’s. "Well, I am dead."
"So am I, but I have a pulse and some warmth." Which gave her a strange idea. Taking his wrist into her hand, she realized that he didn’t have a pulse.
She swallowed as he watched her. "Why don’t you have a pulse?"
No sooner had the question left her lips than a heartbeat started. His skin actually warmed while she held on to it.
Dropping his hand, she shot to her feet. "That ain’t right. What the hell is wrong with you?"
"I didn’t mean to offend you," he said honestly. "The only one who touches me is Simi and she’s cold too. I didn’t think about what my skin would feel like to you or I would have warmed it up first."
She was completely confounded by his words. He could control his heartbeat and body temperature? That was unheard of. "How do you do that?"
"I think it and it happens."
Danger sat back down and reached out to touch his face. It felt like any other man’s face. Granted, his skin was warmer than before, but it still wasn’t quite the temperature of a normal human.
His dark whiskers were rough against her palm, prickly, and it sent a foreign ache through her.
He closed his eyes as if savoring the feel of her hand on his skin. He turned his face ever so slightly in a gentle caress. When he opened his eyes, the deep-seated hunger in his gaze almost frightened her.
Before she realized what he was doing, he dipped his head and captured her lips.
Her first inclination was to pull back and slug him, but there was another part of her that sparked to his gentle kiss. And it was gentle. Tender. It was a lover’s kiss and it set her blood on fire.
She could only barely remember the last time she’d slept with a man. One-night stands had never appealed to her. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. For a brief time, when she had first become a Dark-Hunter and learned of her freedom from disease and pregnancy, she had explored her sexuality.
But that hadn’t lasted long. Since Dark-Hunters were forbidden to develop romantic relationships, it left her with nothing but sex. And sex without some kind of mutual caring wasn’t fulfilling to her.
She pulled back. "I’m not an easy lay, Alexion."
He actually smiled a real smile at her. It was charming and unexpected. "I am."
Shaking her head, she laughed at him. "Most men are."
Alexion didn’t respond to her comment. How could he while his body and lips were still burning from the sensation of her mouth on his? That woman had a tongue that set every fantasy in his mind alive. It made him wonder what else she did well along those lines…